Over the past thirty years, WWE Survivor Series has been mostly known as a pay per view in which rival superstars/ authority figures are told to assemble two separate teams; to compete in a ten-man tag-team match with elimination rules. For instance, in April of 2003, Linda McMahon hired Stone Cold Steve Austin to be the co-general manager on Monday Night Raw. This is because she and the board of directors determined that Eric Bischoff was abusing his power as the general manager. As a result, they hired Stone Cold to prevent Bischoff from having full autonomy over decisions regarding the show. The segment started a six-month storyline where both general managers would make choices to spite each other. For example, Austin decided to reinstate the intercontinental championship in his first decision as general manager which overturned Bischoff’s ruling; to unify the world heavyweight and intercontinental championships.
Although these decisions were made with the express purpose of angering Eric Bischoff, it also angered many of the heel wrestlers. The wrestlers felt that Austin was making decisions against their best interests. As a result, wrestlers like Chris Jericho would cut promos calling for Austin to be fired which pissed Stone Cold off and led him to attack heel wrestlers repeatedly. Eventually, those actions led Eric Bischoff to challenge Stone Cold Steve Austin to a Survivor Series elimination match. If team Bischoff prevailed, Stone Cold Steve Austin would be fired but if team Austin won; he would stay as GM and get to attack wrestlers without repercussions. Ultimately, team, Bischoff won the Survivor Series elimination match, and Austin was fired.
However, in the past two years, the Survivor Series elimination match has been watered down to a contest where Raw and Smackdown compete for brand supremacy. Due to this, the company is currently running the risk of fans losing interest in this pay per view because it’s a few different matches with no story behind them. As a result, the main storyline for Survivor Series should be the draft also known as the superstar shakeup. For instance, the brand that wins the most matches gets extra draft picks, and the number of excess picks is determined by the margin of victory. Furthermore, the winning team of the Survivor Series elimination match can get title shots or immunity from the draft. This will force the GMs to care about every contest because getting more picks increases the likelihood of drafting more star power which will affect ticket sales and TV ratings.
Not only will this move affect WWE personalities from a kayfabe perspective, but it will also impact the fans. The connection between Survivor Series and the superstar shakeup will increase the likelihood of fans being interested; because it could affect the future of their favorite superstar as well as their viewing habits.